tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN April 2, 2012 8:30pm-11:00pm EDT
with a report from last fall but i think it is deutsch very soon and i'm told and that's a good thing. we are not done with spectrum. br an important part of the rebel legislation is now all but the government has a lot of spectrum we are going to go very deeply on the government spectrum as well. >> greg walden is the chairman of the command occasions and technology. he's been our guest on the communicators. german walden. >> thank you. tony romm of politico. thank you as well.
>> collected photographs and was particularly again interested in the 19th century civil war in particular. these are to friends, union and confederate who knew each other prior to the civil war who fought against each other at the battle in 1862 survive the war and came out alive and learn after the war mchugh we are in 800 sitting on the parched talking about the old days >> is a rather wonderful book called the art, and it meant the surviving beyond survival talks
about how the arts and the kraft how niquette insanity until the person was so bad a lot of the camps and there was a high incidence of suicide, so people would make these little things of beauty to get to each other just as a way to say we support you and we care about you were. >> the weekend of may 5th and 6th from oklahoma city on c-span2 landsea 73. ashraf khalil as a journalist who covers the middle east. he recently spoke at the new america foundation in washington about his book "liberation square" inside the egyptian revolution and rebirth of the nation. >> [inaudible] >> i'm glad to see that everyone
is here. we have c-span taping of this event here. we will begin with a conversation. we have with us with -- first let me into myself -- interviews myself, i am leila hilal. we have with us today to distinguished guests, and we'll excited to have this conversation that such a timely period in egypt's history as we see from the news it continues to face turmoil to read to my left is to rob malley the middle east and not africa program director of the international crisis group. he really probably needs no introduction for those of you here who are based in d.c.. but prior to his tenure he was a special assistant to president
clinton for the arab israeli affairs and he was the executive assistant to samuel berger of the national security adviser from 1996 to 1998. he is published widely and is a leading analyst on the middle east affairs and we are very glad to have him with us today. to my right is ashraf khalil run not from washington and a fresh voice to us in d.c.. he is a cairo -- based journalist and with the "los angeles times" and covering baghdad and jerusalem are based in both places to reduce previously reported for "the wall street journal," foreign policy and the times of london and economists as well. he is a border of the very
popular their best founded now. so, we are here largely at the -- to launch ashraf's new book. it is published just last month because. we have copies outside. it's entitled inside the egyptian revolution and the birth of a nation come "liberation square". the book has been received quite a critical acclaim. he noted it was calibrated in the background commentary and prognostication cut and above all described as an essential reading yadin the urgency and vitality of the era of the spring egyptian chapter with and the the daily beast voted council debate today the campus
of the state, so we have copies of the book that will be arriving and it is available to science and chat with you further as i think rob has to leave immediately, but we will try to cover as much ground else we can in the discussion. just to begin with you, ashraf come in your book sort of seeps through the decades of mubarak's ruled before going into the tracking the 18 days of revolt when, then you close with some commentary on the key transitional challenges ahead with our economic corruption and freedom and security performance. and, you know, i think with some of development in egypt in the past 48 hours there is clearly a very current conversation to have about egypt and i think the events are changing quite quickly that but i think it's
also important to keep what track and to note what led up to the revolution. in your book, and just to note you have them based in cairo with for 15 years which means you didn't just land in his cairo on january 25th, 2011, you obviously saw this leading up and described in your book increasing stranglehold of the regime and in the agitation will of people on the ground of shorebirds at one and i remember as the dictator felt many said that egypt would not. but in less than three weeks marrec was gone, so was this a surprise to you? >> there was a lot of immediately after tunisia when there was a lot of chatter and egypt. the activist forces were twa
will openly trying to figure not how to make the same thing happen and trying to lay the groundwork for the similar uprising by you heard so much that can't happen here. i remember talking to 26 actually the day after the start of the revolution when you had these unprecedented numbers turning out and taking the country into uncharted waters i remember getting a cab what and having a classic physical deily kucinich katella driver like to know, we can't do with the tunisian state they are a civilized country, would be even then the egyptians didn't believe they could pull this off fifth and one of the stories of the mo gouarec regime is that if people lost faith in themselves he really killed engagement and
really the hopelessness and the people as dictators go he, there will be no mass graves being on earth in egypt, but she really sort of killed their spirit and it took awhile but people just lost faith in themselves and so immediately before the revolution started the arab league had a summit and the economic it was sent right after ten nisha or ejected and the egyptians are starting to set themselves on fire you have that disturbing little to many trend happening in egypt and all of the arab delegates were like no its not possible this is sent to nisha who to rid of devotee had a reason why egypt what we couldn't be repeated in the the one guy i give him credit for this from day one he was the head of the arab league suppose to be in lock step and i was
shocked by the quote god he was basically saying no this is a wake-up call there's things that need to change the to this could spread. we have to become very careful and acknowledge the people will not be marginalized anymore. i remember the quote vividly. estimate the the sense of marginalization and the resistance did not, it wasn't a sense that people suddenly on january 2051 or what was the day when holmdel the felch? >> almost two weeks before savitt 11th. >> people suddenly realized that they had a grievance toward the regime and there wasn't that they hadn't tried to express themselves. their work events leading up to the revolution that enabled it eventually to begin. you can say that to nisha was a
catalyst in the sense that it wasn't the reason for the uprising. some get certainly wasn't the reason people had grievances and it wasn't the reason that people but it did open the door of what was possible. it didn't break, they broke on the 25th i think, but it really chipped away at the sense of helplessness that had taken hold over the previous decade plus, so just seeing that it was possible changed the game but obviously going back to have so many bad elections, so many cases of the rampant police brutality and corruption and the case of the young man who was beaten to death and alexandria in june of 2010 and whose name became a touchstone for ball always does and the unchecked brutality of the interior ministry under mubarak that was
big when and i try to mark out he was a turning point and she was a turning point but i still -- i maintained that without to y tunisa maybe there would have been a revolution but it doesn't happen on this sign line. i'm going to ask you to read quickly a passage from the book. the first chapter which is entitled the accidental dictator i think this chapter quite amusingly and humorously tells the story of that and the attitude of the attitude of the people. perhaps now is in their mind as they face their current struggle against the staff. >> chapter 1 is called the accidental dictator.
>> imagine for a moment george bush and won by the office leaving dan quayle and national punchline nobody thought would never wield any power then imagine that nearly three decades later this same white light was still running the country that an entire generation of americans had never known any other leader that he and maryland were renaming the bridges and libraries after themselves and the president for life was seemingly grooming one of his children to continue the family business of running the country. if that seems far-fetched it's not too far from the reality egyptians have been mean living through for nearly three decades and simply put it is the modern-day faeroe never supposed to have been. one of the ironies of the 29 year def drew one egypt was that he stumbled into what was the most important and influential job on the modern middle east
entirely by accident. it's a reality that became clear when in the uprising that finally topple the mubarak once they succeeded in shattering the police state that kept them in power it became immediately clear that there really was no plan b. the regime and its final days fell back on the parade of antiquated and sincere rhetoric uninspired and tone deaf concessions and finally one last effort of the vicious violence and a desperate attempt to retain the control. it underscored that hiding behind the tear gas at the central security rights beliefs was an intellectual bankrupt cenacle space of the regime. that's why there was a distinct undercurrent of bitterness and shame mixed in with the euphoria and the research and sense of empowerment in the streets that february when mubarak with left
the states. the sentiment was something approaching i can't believe we let these guys run our lives for decades. a spec think that is to the sentiment of the revolution and when there is mass mobilization, that mobilization sort of carries and creates the dynamic that creates a sort of unstoppable movement towards the new reality and i think we saw that very clearly in egypt and a quick fall of the regime, but we also contrast it with a place in syria where after ten months of uprising and clear public statements from the arab league
the other players forged their vision to go it still holds on tightly to power, and i wonder what in these revolutions is the tipping point? what makes the difference in terms of changing the dynamic on the ground to confront such an entrenched power one, in your observations at what point did the balance of power change, what was the tipping point? >> i think there were small tipping point with tunisa as the final shove over the cliff. i think you had multiple years of the relationship between the police, the interior ministry and its relationship to the citizens with kim toxic may be ten or 15 years back in just stayed that way you had so many
cases. the economic situation is an underreported element to this and seeing not just how much harder life became as the costs went up and salaries stayed the same but seeing the top 5% flourishing so well and obviously seeming to operate under a different set of rules that everybody else was operating under. that played a role. the november 2010 parliamentary election was such a clear slap in the face that just showed the stuffing was so over the top bid just showed that the government was regressing as much as anything in one of my -- this is kind of a corollary to the economic situation and that's because of the economy, because of the lack of jobs and that the successive generations of young
men were who had no hope of ever getting married, they couldn't find a good job, university degrees cut 20-years-old, 35-years-old to be on the jobs available or the ones that didn't pay them enough to even make it worth getting out of bed which means they could never live out of their parents' homes and they could never get married and never really start their life. i think one of the reporting aspects of this is how much sexual frustration played into the egyptian revolution and if you ask generations that could never lost their lives and afford to get married. >> and you talk about that in the book, you know the film cultural -- >> is a humorous slapstick comedy what about these guys because they're living at home were the university agreed but living at home in their late 20s
but because they can't get married, they can't find a place to be alone, they can't have sex , but it is humorous is actually poignant because it tells the story of the frustration. ceramica met guys on the protest line who may as well have been characters in the film and they tell me the two sentences in their entire life. they graduated, they have a good degree that they don't have influence. their father couldn't hook them up a job or they didn't have an apartment waiting for them to get married in so they are just 28 at home, that's their life for this and a half people returned to their home? >> are they still in the street? we are hearing of the continued demonstrations and protests but also been told of the silent majority which doesn't support the protesters and the protesters are in the minority so where are these frustrated you've? what are they overcome by a
sense of what pessimism or do they desire to return to normality? has the revolution become a sort of marginalized effort despite the continued need for change and reform? >> that's a good question. some of them are still out there protesting and many of them have gone home and the issue and whether to continue street action is a very divisive issue as you said in egypt the november and december clashes that were in and around the cycle it was bizarre to have massive violence and people losing our eyes and a week later, five days later and three blocks away in place opened with a line down the block and then a week later there would be massive violence on the same street. was surreal. but i think you are right in that to those protests
especially in november and december were hugely unpopular. they did not represent the majority of the egyptians, but if you ask the protesters they are totally fine with being in the minority. they think they were in the minority a year ago. they think that the phrase that you hear in arabic all but time has been the party of the couch which is their divisive term for the silent majority tataris but basically sat at home watching television and cannot to join the party on february 11th after this ten, 15% hard-core minority did all the work for them. i'm telling you what they're thinking so they know they are in the minority at this point and they are totally fine if that. >> i'm just going to bring you in here now and i think you were in egypt in december and january and had the opportunity to meet
a cross section and have your own sense of what's going on on the ground and recently in the past 48 hours we have seen the demonstrations have been renewed and there's a lack of activism and the political parties that have come of the platform for the journal for the exit of present elected civilian presidents. the meeting is the news and there's an effort that builds the public consensus around the demand for the military were to hand over power were no devotee is resisting over the justin of the constitution to build them protections of the major interests. yesterday when the protesters attempted to evidence on the
parliament interestingly i think to hand the demand for the transfer of civilian powers to this new elective body were in the muslim brotherhood dorworth blocked that even to unwed. wondering as well what are we facing the counter revolution in egypt is there an effort to solidify the reality which people on the streets feel is not with the of original demand for the empowerment, devotee, civil liberties given the interim period where they crack down violently on the demonstrators and sort it is often a way that it wants to where three tenet prior control
over the economy over sort of foreign affairs. is this a counterrevolution? >> preliminary comments. thank you for the nice introduction of. when you insist it is also of washington used to detect me as a new gingrich. [laughter] to be the second i highly recommend you read the book. it is informative and entertaining. i want to touch on a few of the planes. first, you make a comparison between egypt and i think there is one element which is decisive in a number of these cases which would as the security force? in egypt to to make the argument that was both of revolution and the military coup and it is unclear which one was more important. the military may be piggybacking on the uprising and trying to perpetuate the mubarak whether he will succeed or not is a different matter but that is
part of the reason why things went so quickly have and there is no such chance. you can't have the current regime surviving by the power structure. it's much harder to do. they may try the it's harder to do because they feel like once he goes they may all go with him and that is a much more dangerous scenario. that is point number one and if you look at yemen and the ball train all of these cases one of the key determining factors is how is the security apparatus constituted what is its relationship with the regime? second point, and you mentioned the revolution that is the title of the article that we wrote several months ago one of the points we make in the piece is the egyptian revolution in particular hot. yes i think he's right they were people organizing the there is no clear leadership what to read as nonviolent protestors from there was no ideology behind it, there was the program in the
manifesto, you didn't have a -- it wasn't in that sense which was an extraordinarily powerful attributes of attribute of the uprising because it was almost impossible for the regime to tackle in the they were prepared to deal with the violent uprising than they were with this because it's sort of like jell-o. they didn't know how to go after it, but the strength of the revolution i think in many ways made it the weakness after it will bark was toppled because you didn't really have a party constituency agenda you had protestors, and i think that brings me to the main question which is what is today the power of the protesters and why is it that you have this tension between those in the square and others that may be the silent majority. >> when i was in egypt of of the conversations i had and i agree a lot of us don't really care for their minority and eight believe they were a minority then something has changed there
has been an election and a number i spoke to evin might have been sympathetic to the revolution at times that we demint we just had in the election i'm going to come up with a number, maybe i am exaggerating or not, maybe i'm underestimating but about 80% are represented in the problem today. there was a process that was agreed in the election, then you can have the constitution that's going to have to be in the referendum, then the presidential election and then the military has to receive the power. most of the people, vast majority that voted and were represented in the parliament believe that that is okay, then you have a large number of demonstrators who were calling for another, trajectory at another time table. it's hard today for them to have infil longer-term to legitimacy they had as a minority during the revolution when you now have the legitimate process with fault and what not the legitimate process to put in a people to live with the
timetable was agreed that is a problem now for the people. it's been a big distinction, you're right he. >> it will revive in my view if and when the politicians who were elected proved incapable of dealing with the problem egypt has to do whether it is the political transition and the economy or security that is when the protesters can revive the legitimacy but right now the have to make a calculation which is how do we maintain legitimacy when most of them who voted seem to have voted for something differently and the muslim brotherhood has been very clever so far in managing a complex sort of triangle relationship between the self and the protesters and their view is to say we agree with what you're calling for the there's a political process we have to defend which is why they formed a human shield to and from getting access to the
parliament. i think it went to the very interesting game where i see the three actors of the muslim brotherhood and the protesters fear they're playing a blind chess because actually it wasn't planned, they don't know how the other parties are going to act because it is a new game and they don't know how they're going to act because it is new for them as well. ..
>> they cannot be blamed for thinking that the only thing that has produced genuine, serious concessions from the military has been street action. even the current timeline of the military departing in june 2012, that is a result of a hugely unpopular november clashes. but what we are heading into -- robin's view is correct in that the election is flawed, but largely successful. no one can say it wasn't insincerely run election to it was well attended. it does change the map and their legitimacy. much of the country, as you
said, agrees with what the protesters want, just want stability and calm. now is not time. what is the difference between if the military leaves onto very good team, or if the military lives five months later it that is a very persuasive argument. as far as internal protester dynamics, this alliance between the brotherhood of the military, it has been coming for a long time. they have been flirting for a while and had their pearls and etc. now we are seeing it made tangible where the brotherhood is now the government and by proxy the military from the other protesters. it is interesting to see that final piece click into place. i'm curious to see where it goes from here. that is new territory. >> i think that is a very
important point. it goes about how nobody knows how to play the rules of the game. i think the staff has been incompetent because they could have made a lot of concessions before the protest, which would have really undermined and undercut the relevance. as you said, every time they have reacted, which both of the protesters and discredits the military. up until now, the brotherhood has been a win-win situation. >> they are not the ones who are causing chaos on the streets. they also appeal to those egyptians who want normalcy. that is a large reason why they did so where. they were an agent of change and a familiar figure that was a familiar stability. if you accelerate the timetable, that is benefiting the muslim brothers. they have been able to take
advantage of the military and protesters without them self having to clash with the military. at some point, soon, they're going to be responsible -- people are going to turn the two them when people -- when the economy or security is not going well. so far, they have been quite astute, a product of their educations and over the years having to deal with adversarial conditions. they have been able to play that game quite well. >> a very quick thing i wanted to ask as far as the military brotherhood relationship, and that the brotherhood is counting on holding the military to this timetable of departure on june 2012. i remember being in suez and wearing a brotherhood party pin. i asked him, do you trust the military? he gives me this huge smile, and he was like, i don't need to trust them.
it is not relevant whether or not i trust the military. the implication there is if they drag their feet on this june 2012 thing, we will just go back and they're not losing sleep over that. they know that they have the stick. >> right, but i think also the complication becomes that you have a selective parliament. and i think the people will be looking to elect parliament. i do not think that the staff wants to retain the executive powers. i think it will turn over. but the question becomes how much power will they retain? the attempt to stay -- to delay the transfer to a civilian president and holding elections for that, the attempt to delay it is to control the constitution making process or have some control of it to
retain major interests. i think that the brotherhood is, perhaps, willing to allow them to retain power in foreign affairs to ultimate power -- to have the immunity in control of the budget. it will allow them to do that. but the question i have is clearly a mounting dissent against continued control. if they continue to maintain that control and the brotherhood seems to be aligning with them, will the parliament lose legitimacy? and what kind of democracy will
play in a contested atmosphere? just to point out some of the developments that occurred, a liberal member of parliament, leila hilal, allow the holding of elections in april in order that the power be transferred by may 1 to a civilian president so that the constitution making process isn't completely in military hands. the liberal members of parliament that walked out of the session yesterday, because of their complaints that the speaker of the house is from the freedom just -- freedom justice parties. they said he was biased in his delivery shins. there is a small chance that the parliament will be -- and they
could maintain in front of the parliament, there is a chance that it will lose its legitimacy. >> department? >> the parliament in this environment. does that make sense in your mind. what does the parliament enjoying each of now? >> i think there is a lot of hope for them. i am not sure if there's a lot of date, but there is a lot of hope. they are the product, as we said, a flawed but not insincerely run and well attended election. they are the product of -- by default. but the best election egypt has had in how many decades. that means it brings them a lot of legitimacy. it will be rough. it will be a mass. no matter how many well-intentioned they are, not that many have experience of
democrats. the brotherhood, for all their decades of struggling, they do not have a democratic structure. people are going to probably have temper tantrums and fallout with each other and mistake the natural processes of a democratic coalition building experiment and take things personally when they probably shouldn't take things personally. it will be messy for a while. >> i have looked at not just the tunisians but egypt -- a lot of the problems we have in each -- egypt, a lot of those went well. there's a lot of fighting in parliament. there is a lot of demonstrations of forces. we are going to see all that. that is inevitable. the question you asked about how are people going to react to the
military's -- not attempt to control -- an extraordinarily challenge economic -- >> they don't want the headache? >> who does? >> no taxes and -- the secrecy of their budget. and overall leadership in foreign policy. if it were simply left to the muslim brotherhood, they could live with that. they are realistic. all of these things -- they don't think really undermined their power. but they have a long view of history. five years, a decade. sooner or later they have in mind several examples around the region. they don't want to be algeria in
the early 1990s when the military got so afraid of the possible victory of the salvation front, there was a massive pressure. they don't want to be hamas either. they want to have a coalition. they look at turkey. it took them many years. today the military is in its place. it could take them years, they can do it. they have been in the underground for so long now. a question you asked, which i think is a pertinent one, will people on the street or other forces start complaining and say this is not good for is? in a way, it could happen either way. they could live with this arrangement, this passive transition where you have an agreement between the military and political forces, or at an acceleration of a transition, some of the prerogatives not being handed over -- it could provoke a reaction and
jeopardize their hard earned dean. >> the question is if they maintain these prerogatives, 10 there be the kinds of changes that will be economic changes -- changes in the security forces. the opening of the media. will you be able to have these sorts of institutional changes for the people? >> ideally what we are going to need to see -- we are going to focus on the relationship between the government and military and the control of the military's budget. there are smaller revolutions that need to happen that would be significant victories. a genuine anticorruption campaign, a genuine attempt to weed out nepotistic hires from the government. a genuine attempt to instill responsible journalistic ethics
within the media or just shut down, you know, state television and -- i am of the opinion that there should not be administrative information, but that might be too much to expect. i am big on interior ministry reform. one thing i'm doing is trying to figure out my list of metrics for how to drudge the progress of the revolution. civilian inside. not some career general that owes 30 years of weber two and other general. a civilian, an outsider interior minister. when you talk to police officers, they always say -- and it is hilarious. they all went to the same class on this. they all say, well, would you want a minister of health that is not a doctor?
that does not make sense. no, i am not buying it. it is a civilian interior minister. set by the elected government to clean the stables, fire whoever you need to fire and change the culture. that is top three of things that need to happen regardless of what happens between the brotherhood and the military. >> i think there is the question of how is that going to happen and at what point? >> and they will be resistant to it. >> let's change and talk about the brotherhood and justice party and the chances given the attention or what appears to be movement toward the accommodation. we cannot say that the freedom and justice party are monoliths.
certainly, there must be some brotherhood members who were protesting. as there are fragments, generally, there will be fragmentation within the brotherhood. what impact will that have in terms of lyrical dynamics in the country? what do you think the chances are for fragmentation? >> i think that fragmentation has already happened. it started immediately after february 11 to you have members of the youth wing break away and form the egyptian current party. that was founded by young brothers. you have king abdullah, who was a senior brother.
he broke away and is running for president. he is taking his followers with him. the splintering his arty happening -- it is already happening. he will draw some people, they will lose some people. it is inevitable that you're going to keep the unity, all the ideological differences come to the floor. the power struggles become more prominent. it is healthy, but the brotherhood is going to remain a primary player. the fragmentation, sure. it is happening and it will continue. >> i think that what is striking, it is true that the fragmentation has begun. i went back to some people and they said they are losing their youth and all true, in the end,
they performed beyond what most experts were saying within a week of the elections. they are by far the strongest magnet, there are so many kinds of groups. you meet them all the time. they were not able to capitalize on these tensions within the movement. that does not mean that they would will not face challenges, just look at how moss. they also have to compete with what is what you call the right wing version. if anyone needs with them, that is the number one priority. they will tell you everything you want to hear. they are speaking a lot and not saying anything. they could say something that someone will be worried about. they will have members of parliament -- members of legislation on social issues
that make the brotherhood have to make a real choice. do we risk our base or stick to our base and the risk of eliminating the west and those in our own country. that is going to be a challenge for the brotherhood. i think they are more worried about that than their own internal problems or it forces. >> they are not going to take a position on foreign policy issues. are there interests more internal? i think effective of the u.s., when it becomes a problem is when it affects foreign policy interests. will it just be a matter of accommodation between the brotherhood and the sullivans so that the sullivans can do their thing internally i'm a
domestically, socially, and then the brotherhood and the military authorities can continue to control the foreign policy. do you think they have an agenda on that? >> on foreign-policy? they might make a run at camp david in some form. at least you modify camp david. beyond that, no. i think they're going to focus on the domestic agenda. there is an interesting dynamic that could come forward that could really embarrass the brotherhood in many ways and put them into a couple of positions. you bring forth some sort of domestic legislation that brings the country with whatever they think it is. the brotherhood in the position of alienating the west, secular
coalition partners, by siding with this, or you put the brotherhood in a position of doing something that they are saying is not islamic. and you say oh, no, power has changed. it's going to be fascinating. i'm looking forward to watching this play out. it will be amazing. >> i would say -- right now i am seeing leadership in december and january. the promise of evolution in a month was extraordinary. it took the muslim brotherhood years and years. >> a. have been taking pr crash courses. >> in december i met with a leader and the answer he gave me, if i was sitting there with your motherhood motherhood what would be the difference?
they believe rights for women, respect for democracy, they are ready to leave it. it happened so quickly. some of us think yes, we like democracy because it gives us a voice. do we really believe it is right? two weeks ago i met the leadership. all the right answers. we are not going to touch camp david. it was very impressive to see how quickly they begin what they were announcing a few weeks earlier. >> it will be fascinating to watch. these guys have not had a live mike turned on them. they have been in the shadows. now they have their own tv channels, they were being interviewed on tv, they were on
the parliament floor, having to build coalitions. it will be fun to watch. >> we have a very enthusiastic team. i would just like to ask a little bit about u.s. foreign policy and whether or not the u.s. has a role in egypt now, given the internal dynamics, which, as you say, are interesting and it will be interesting to watch. should the u.s. play a hands-off role and let the egyptian politics take their own turn? is that even possible given the u.s. support for strong, large support -- military assistant
for egypt. what is the perception and what role can the u.s. play? >> it is a good question. deftly the u.s. is right to be treading carefully. i'm sure during the revolution there was a lot of debate and trepidation of where do we -- what we say, even if we, the u.s., are pro- devolution and coming out pro- revolution could hurt the revolution. in and around the military that his much lauded and praised decision to not fire on civilian protesters, i have always suspected there were a lot of very quiet, very firm u.s. arm twisting on that, or just a quiet, don't you dare even think about it, from washington. if that really happened, i am
grateful for it. what should the u.s. do going forward? i'm sure it is very confusing. i would fall back to some of these metrics that i am trying to devise as far as how do you judge a stable or successful post- revolutionary landscape? i think the u.s. priorities -- should be pushing a interior ministry reform. also, civil society. leaving civil society to grow without hindrance, without harassment, and that is obtusely what is happening right now. my biggest concern, is the attack on [inaudible]. there is a whole host of egyptian ngos that operated on that day as well. long after iri got their files
that end these egyptian ngos might be completely screwed. they might have had their work pushed back a decade. i hope the administration keeps that in mind. keeps a very sharp eye on leaving civil society to grow naturally without harassment. >> let's focus on the transition of reform that needs to happen. >> i'm sure we were going to get into more question and answer period it is not how much relevance the u.s. is going to have. it is about the rediscovery. the political leaders are going to be fixated much more on political opinion than what is happening in the quarters of washington. very unlike the time of hosni
mubarak. you would not see what you see now with the ngos among which is a slap in the face. especially at a time when egyptians need assistance. it really tells you what they care about in terms of the balance between what they hear in washington and what they hear on the streets of egypt. i was doing a radio show, and there was in it -- there was an egyptian. the white house put out a statement criticizing against protesters. the egyptian journalist was asked what did you think of the u.s. statement? she said i know it was a statement, and i know that the u.s. labored for hours about how to say it. i think it said something about
how less relevant the u.s. is. then there is the question of effectiveness. one thing i stressed on this last trip -- and you hear it all the time, it -- many other egyptians believe it. they are convinced that the u.s. is engaged in a conspiracy to weaken, fragment, undermine egypt's power. that was certainly hosni mubarak's thought. today, which are seen on the street is very much a u.s. attempt -- part of this is protection. you want to blame an outsider. but i happen to believe it is also a genuine believe that they have. they cannot imagine all this would've happened with some foreign hands, and the most credible is the u.s. the u.s. also has a very generous reputation among other egyptians.
you are not seeing egyptians rushing today asking the u.s. to intervene. many egyptians we met were as critical of the u.s. the u.s. tester tread carefully not just on interest, but because they have the legacy of an extremely negative reputation having to do with policies. that means that sometimes when it is going to say is back fire. public opinion will react against what the u.s. says, not because of what it says, but because of perception and the problems of reputation. >> we have a very anxious member of the audience here. let's give her the microphone. >> thank you very much. i am from the atlantic council.
i want to talk about egypt's role in the region. it is interesting that they would say that the u.s. was trying to undermine. egypt hasn't had much of a role in the last two years. the question is, can it play role regionally? what factors do you see that might actually cause it to be able to overcome this domestic turmoil and play a role regionally? if israel attacks gaza again, will there be pressure to do something about the peace treaty? if israel attacks iran, will there be something about the peace treaty? or can we expect this year that it is just going to be egypt focusing on getting its affairs in order? >> i think a little bit of both. on one hand, it is true that egypt is much more internally focused, in fact, he's -- peace talks have taken place. egyptian way is nothing new, as he pointed out. i think it will take some time.
for now, the main power -- egypt has the negative power. when you go to israel and asked the officials about the way they have to do things in gaza, for example. their main concern is how egypt will react. not by military action, but if they will be worse by public opinion to bolster public relations -- they don't want to have yet more problems with egypt. they are frayed that egypt is going to have to take a much more assertive effect. when there is -- when there was an attack and there was speculation about egypt reentering gossett, they were afraid of how an egyptian regime would react. that is going to be true for
some time. at some point, egypt will recover its role. ashraf khalil speaks about this in his book and today about how a lot of this was egyptians trying to recover their dignity. what role is egypt playing in the region now? i think that time will come. i was told it would come more quickly than i think now, because i think that the magnitude of the domestic problems are of such it will take a wild for them to recover its national role. sooner or later, it will come. >> i think that egypt moving forward, and it might take a while, there might be a self obsessed domestic focus for a wild -- in reforming egypt, they could play a very positive role in the region. i think that egypt is one of the factors dragging area backwards.
an egypt that is built around a rule of law and a genuine society and trusted national institutions could be a very real beacon in the region. that is what i'm counting on. in terms of current geopolitical issues, certainly another flareup in god's a war and other attack on gaza will put any government that exists on the terminus pressure to do what has been done previously. i don't think that the camp david treaty is under any threat in the short or medium term. i think there might be a request for some alterations to enable some more leeway on the gods of order -- the gods a border.
basically egypt being told what they can do on the border was extremely humiliating that hurt them domestically. i don't think they're going to let that go by again. beyond that, yes, i think there will be a lot of pressure to treat god to differently. that is the extent of it in the short term. i would like to say that having the situation where the israeli government now has to worry about the opinion of the egyptian people before taking an action, that is great. that is healthier than it has been in a long time. i think both sides, the way that camp david has attracted it, both sides have been unhealthy. i think that hosni mubarak new for decades that he could do whatever he wanted to his people as long as he kept camp david. the israelis knew that they could do whatever they wanted and not have to worry about public appeal.
that is just counting on the monarch to shove it down peoples throats. it is not peace. i am looking for a much more mature israeli-egyptian relationship. i want the israelis to be worried about egyptian public opinion. why not? >> i think you have a very important point. the issue that has been on both sides -- the israeli people claiming that it is a very bad thing -- get getting away with it -- the egyptians collaborating for palestinian rights, but happy to deal with whatever israeli policies or u.s. policies -- it is both interesting and positive. i agree completely. as i mentioned, gaza. i came back from gaza a few days
ago. it is interesting when you speak with the hamas leadership. number one, they don't think changes are going to come overnight. they are quite pragmatic. right now the, right now the people are dealing with this. give it a year, egypt is going to have to be slightly more vocal and balance the relationship between hamas. they see the winds of history blowing in their favor. possibly different elsewhere. >> can you wait for the microphone, please? >> mr. ashraf khalil, it you have mentioned the role that tunisia played and the people of egypt. my question -- if egypt has the
population and age structure of japan, how would you see this whole revolution without a wall? >> meaning a much older demographic? >> right did in proportion to the total population. the impact being so many young people. what percent of the population? >> what is the number that you have heard? >> i have heard the present of population is between the ages of 15 and 29. >> okay. okay. obviously, there is this huge bubble of youth coming up. another way before them that it has kind of lost a generation -- that is 28 to 32, with nothing
going on and no prospects. that was a huge factor. of course, the failure of the hosni mubarak government to provide economic opportunity to these multiple generations, and possibly the failure to provide them with the skills to go out and earn money for themselves without the socialist guaranteed public sector job infrastructure that is kind of going away. no. it was huge. part of it, you can't blame the government for. it was a huge problem, and i would hate to be the one in charge of solving it in what a lot of money disappeared. a lot of jobs were handed out unfairly. i do blame the hosni mubarak government for failing to provide hope for these multiples -- multiple generations.
that was one of the major factors fueling the revolution. >> but the youth were not the only ones. >> know, the youth were not the only ones. again and again something i saw during the revolution was multi- generational families. there was once a quote. the brief the vice president, long time intelligence chief who served as president of ford ashraf khalil -- hosni mubarak fell. he said and mispronounced the muslim brotherhood several times. he also said he would tell the protesters to go home and tell the parents to come and get them and take them home. i did a radio interview that
night with an american radio station. they mentioned that quote to me. that is hilarious. i just came back, and i was talking to somebody who was there with their parents and grandmother. that is not going to fly. he is dealing with something much more than irresponsible, reckless youth here. >> i think it will be interesting to see how the demographics of the protest movement change at all going forward. we have a question here in the back? the gentleman? >> thank you. you started the question -- conversation with economics, and we have not touched on the current economic problems as well as the insecurity police have. i was wondering if you could address those issues. a few. >> those are going to be the biggest challenge is in a new government for them to deal with. and economic situation -- one of
the paradoxes of revolution is economic distress and economic deprivation, both of which have been made worse because of the revolution and the circumstances that exist today. that is a huge factor. a factor of the insecurity which is both natural when you are in a state of insurgency, but also the police were the scapegoats of what happened. see if you can deal with the situation without us. both of them, i think, are extremely dangerous. i'm sure you haven't been in egypt as much as us, but i saw frustration, violence, street fights. i was there for five days, and i saw some extremely brutal and dangerous altercations.
the economy is not doing well, the tourism -- i was at the cairo airport. the airport was empty. the hotels were empty. with an economy that needs stability for tourism, it is going to be extremely hard. this is one of the variables i don't know how they are going to deal with it, and it could go very badly very quickly if the economy doesn't recover. if the security situation does not recover. >> exactly as rob said, the economy was not going all that great before the revolution and he it was one of those situations where you egypt was one of the imf world bank darlings. the situation on the ground was more tangible. there was more economic desperation and resentment flowing from seeing the top 7%
living so well right in front of you while everybody else was so hard. from those tumbled when -- from those humble beginnings, the tourism is a major thing. tourism is not just seaside communities and the guys who work at the pier mitts. tourism is one of those things that extends into every aspect of the economy. that has dried up or is operating at low capacity. every time there is one of these flareups, the irony is -- as i keep saying -- street action. every time you get street violence on television, that is two months of tourism gone. it is huge. that is one of the aspects that have turned the population against the ongoing protests.
the phrase that keeps popping up -- and i see it in the newspapers and i hear daily -- the wheel of production. we have to get the wheel of production moving. the first time i heard that, i thought it was hilarious. i thought it was a stalinist hangover. but it is important. people are listening to that, and they think the protesters are holding up the wheel of production. they think that they are holding the country hostage for their irrational demands. the economic situation is not great, and it's not getting better. the perception of insecurity is very bad. the curious thing to me is that people blame the protesters for the lack of security. i get into these debates with people. they do not blame the police for not showing up for their jobs.
i have had these arguments with people in egypt where they act like it is the protesters fall. i'm sorry, i missed the part where we killed 100,000 police officers. they are sitting at home. why are you not mad at them? why are we not yelling at the interior minister to get these people back on the job? there is a bit of a disconnect there. yeah, it needs to aid itself fairly quickly. it is one of the larger concerns. >> i spent 10 years in poland starting in 1990. the average wait is -- wage was $35 a month. coal miners a little more, doctors a little less. they really had no choice but to start over when the system collapsed. when you had robust tourism,
there still was this economic inequality and still people who could not afford to get good jobs after they got their degrees, with a country that is still there -- the country hasn't collapsed. you don't have an opportunity or an obligation to start over again. how do you go about rebuilding an economy not just to get the old economy back? but to rebuild so there is a wider opportunity for everybody? >> i will say a couple of things very quickly. number one, and actual genuine, sincere, enforceable anticorruption crusade -- that will make a difference. not only in that less money will disappear, but that will encourage foreign investments. i think there is a whole host of multinational corporations that are willing -- it speaks volumes about how attractive a market
you should pass that all of these corporations were willing to pay the 10 to 20% corruption tax just to do business in egypt. those companies still want to do business in egypt if we actually reduce or take away by 50% -- which is only 10% of the money that disappears -- that would be an improvement. not taking into account the medium-sized businesses that look at egypt and say let's stay out of that. we cannot afford the corruption overhead. you can fix things in a way that brings more money in and keeps more money in the public sphere. actual tax collection. the only taxes that are collected at a multinational corporation are taken from your paycheck. income tax, not really. there are so many loopholes. i don't know the percentage that was paid, that a properly run
country will have a better economic success. >> with the status quo that is emerging, to protest against anticorruption and tour the minister of economics to do something about reduction. there is a conflict. conscious of the fact that we only have five minutes, i'm going to take a couple questions, and then you can answer together. we have one in the back here and one appear. >> the question i have is about the upcoming -- >> i thought a recognized her. hello, mark. >> the question is $1.3 billion in military financing that honestly there is going to be a great policy debate whether we should, in fact, give it this
year, recognizing the responsibilities of camp david, or if that should be used as a method with some of who are here at present to make sure that they keep to their commitments. is that a good enough or capable enough tool to get the attention of the staff, and you talk a lot about hosni mubarak being the pharaoh. i would be very interested in your comments about the field marshal, how he is playing with the staff, and is he the right guy to transition them out of a job? >> yes, thank you. just to continue on the team of the economy, as you know, egyptian authorities are currently discussing with the ims and other organizations on
financial assistance. my question to the panel is that how do you see the role -- the potential role of the imf and other international financial organizations in supporting financially the egyptian transition, avoiding a crisis, and do you think the egyptians themselves are ready to accept a role for the imf and others, recalling that in june there was a package of assistance worth $3 billion that was financed subsequently been rejected by the authorities. i would be interested to hear your view on that. thank you. >> let me make a few points. on the 1.3 billion. it is interesting. i've easily the scaf has attention. >> not enough attention that it
>> still ahead, more booktv with the author of the new book. then the author of the book the devil we don't know. the dark side of revolution in the mideast. >> light tomorrow morning on c-span two, the fbi and the head of the fbi's cybersecurity division. he will speak at the government's dirty conference in washington. you can watch it at 8:30 a.m. eastern. at 10:00 a.m. eastern, a look at the social security disability insurance program. several speakers, including the chief actuary, we'll look at why disability claims have increased in recent years. that discussion will be like here on c-span two at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> c-span's cities tours takes
organization of university scholarships. a palestinian arab he lives and washington, d.c., the paris and i learn he has just flown in some from cairo so we are pleased to have him with us today. he is the author of two books, palestine and israel, peace or apartheid and the works he will be discussing tonight, the invisible arab the promise and peril of the revolutions of please join me in welcoming who 64 i'm not sure what you are doing on the one time still listening to me but i want to [inaudible] >> i just flew in from a 14 hour
flight, 15 hour flight and i have faith, not sure what fifa is that they keep telling laura asking me to felch these evaluation forms so out of all of the people of the airplanes they always pick me to fill out the evaluation forms may be because i don't like flying or i look like i am pretty scared what they're or uncomfortable with whatever it is some of the forms are long and some of them are short. today was actually a short one but it was instructive certainly can't reminded me of a number of things i want to talk about today in the assessment of the airplane when north point of departure, you're point of a rival, they ask you how is the luggage, did you use anything on the way, they ask about security, they ask about to the
surface, about delays, stopovers and so on and so forth. it's easy to do the check off. a rival, washington, d.c.. i think a lot of the people over the last year that i've been following in the media and especially the has been evaluating what's been going on in the arab world as if it was an assessment of a flight and always in mind par tough departure off to know where to start and everyone had in mind a point of arrival i don't know why. so egypt is not a liberal democracy, prosperous economy and so long and so forth hence maybe we should assess it didn't go very well or that we have project on those events in to
tunisa and so on and so forth and we are all disappointed and hence we put these assessments but what has gone on in the world people's fathers and the revolution which ever way we will hopefully discuss that he would who determine as i said not as simple as an assessment of a flight, but i think that's what we've been doing. it takes patience but it also takes a bit more depth and a bit more what context, perspective, a bit more understanding of the reality of the region, and i sort of tried to do that in the region not just where we are at but where we are coming home from and where we are headed so
the question is why is big, tried to explain why. some of those will try retroactively to explain how we got here as if they can't be explained why we haven't figured that amount and all of a sudden we have become wiser i think there's no point of doing that so that is my intent of doing that. second is the revolution to the evolution and after and that's what the book tries to do. what i've heard from some we try to do more discussions with intelligence on the bright universities like here white georgetown and divisive think you for having me here? i'm going to take the simple way out instead of doing a major source of physicists.
i'm going to take the five main words on the cover and try to explain them to you. invisible band era arab and revolution, so 54 its, conflict. invisible invisible? there are two ways of looking at invisible, there is locally in visible and invisible to the offside world. the people of the region have been invisible. the best saying that describes this in terms of the people in the outside world is the one that says something about a falling tree makes more than a growing forest and people have been obsessing over the last ten years over the bin laden of the world that no one paid attention to the forest. they paid attention to 300 from
a sample jihadis or suicide bombers or whichever way you want to determine them but the 300 million other soft. it is the extravaganza and we didn't, we were paying attention to the falling tree but that is a course of history. the arabs were invisible because the outside world notably the west noted in the region through the prism of oil, terrorism fundamentalism, extremism in that sense or israel and security. this was the prisons and through this we couldn't see what was going on in the world because the perspective was the israeli security, through national security meaning through
terrorism and so long so they were not really looked at and here i am talking, i'm not talking about specialist departments such as yours sure in georgetown, i'm talking in general terms they were invisible. to the domestic scene in the region the majority of the people were made invisible either through censorship, imprisonment, anyone who had something interesting to say would never make it on state television or state newspapers and so on and so forth and most of the media was for several decades controlled by authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. so if you have anything to say you were invisible to the rest of the region and the rest of the people.
you were imprisoned and tortured, you were intimidated, and simply you were not allowed to be heard to be seen in the arab region and an entire generation was not to be heard. and it was the subject of a discussion but never participated in the discussion. so that is the bit. so is the invisible arab. i asked a question at the beginning of the book. why are we only seeing that domino effect happening in the arab world among the arab speaking people? we have seen the inspiration, we've seen, you know, occupy a wall street, the arab spring saying something about inspired
and enacting in their way about a macromigration but not of the revolution. that is for many if someone asked me why do you mean the arab revolution but even when you came back of course people have the local preoccupations and so on and so forth, but then something quite regional white thereof like the arab revolution why is that? i'm not lying to take long, just a couple titles about that. the arab consciousness as many
of you know was developed in the postcolonial era with a commonality of language and grammar. they don't share the same language, they share the same political grammar if you will and was liberated from colonialism or less at the same time and developed a common political grammar and persistence to colonialism and more or less the same political grammar in terms of this trial and so forth something of a common political language and collective consciousness that emerged. the arab dictators have tried consistently to break but and they simply played all night.
they paddled nationalism but they never of actually materialized it, they never actually cared for it and whenever it came up, it was always egypt first and jordan first get the united arab emirates to beat the emirate's first and so forth but it was by the rulers i can't think of another word for that collective consciousness, for that collective interest. played a major role since the mid 90's, the early 90's to the mid 90's, since the nbc of 1992 to '93, al jazeera, 95, 96.
the arab media broke the ground and broke the regime's told on what people listen to and what people watch. suddenly with every satellite dish, on every rooftop, every refugee camp and every arab world made it possible for people to start materializing that political a grammar and collective language. some are the so-called reverse globalization meaning people in the region along for listen to michael jackson at the time, no longer had to watch american television or the american series but but turkish series. but the start watching their own.
something happened since the mid 90's where people start sharing the public's sphere that became the networks where everyone can together as listeners or participants and as there were some 300, 400 made it possible to start deepening more and more of their collective consciousness in terms of their presence which takes me of promise. i start the book by sharing with the readers i wrote in the editorial board part of what we
call the strategic planning for the network. in november, 2010, i wrote my notes about the upcoming season, and was titled hot winter. it wasn't what came about but from the perspective of november, 2010, and i shared in my notes am i memorandum if you will with the al jazeera editorial board basically looking at the region and everything looked so dark in november. lebanon was breaking up, sudan, iraq was breaking up again. iran, the potential gulf was on the verge of something new going down the drain. palestine was again flaring up.
everywhere you looked in the region things were getting worse. yemen, somalia, so forth. things never looked as dark. after finishing the notes, i was so distressed by left and i actually traveled to china and invented something to do and went to china and japan. in december i was in china and japan which by the way is interesting than february and followed afterwards and there wasn't a word about the arab spurring or what was going on in the beginning but anyway, again, as the saying goes, though light comes after the darkest moment of the night. everything not so dark a new
horizon opened up a generation that everyone, and here i mean everyone almost was considering a burden, a demographic burden. everyone thought of as even the enlightened ones who were answering the remarks were saying what you're doing is building a reservoir of extremists, even the ones who are trying to defend the youth are saying you're making it into a reservoir of the extremist people sociology was built with a logical framework that those are a demographic threat, but political threat, the orie strategic threat to their own people and to the west and most of the studies done for within
that construct. i'm sure in some departments there was work being done. there is no doubt about that. but i'm saying in the overall with the general view was that the youth was a burden. this certainly surprised us. it turned out not to be a extremist if anything you are far more enlightened than their elders, they had far more interesting things to save about the present and the future and if they had more will and the capacity to effect change than anything we had seen before because. again, the promise was some help distilled -- please, take no --
take what i'm saying in a very innocent way if that is at all possible. it somehow was here in this city into a group of executives, which is amazing. i asked several hundred people that i met in egypt, made the point of it wasn't a pooling of the sort but asking several hundred people with the know what anyone does among the movement in egypt that was made public no one knew. the only thing we knew is there was an executive. i don't know why. and president obama made sure to mention it in his speech and a sick tree clinton made sure to mentioned in her speech. all of a sudden, this wonderful young man, 28-years-old, i'm not being patronizing, wonderful activist began and everything
that was seen from "the new york times" and "the washington post" of the world was a wonderful westernized youth reduced to a group of executives of the sort, and you couldn't see why this was pluralistic and diverse, this was part of a bigger picture of a people with a history of the generation that made it to prison that was tortured and was part of the people's revolution of the media construct of the youth being projected from london, paris and washington. so, anyway, that promise brought everyone's hope up and made it almost impossible and i was one of those, i wasn't tall myself
but was optimistic about everything that was going on because when you saw what they were doing in yemen, a country with 60 million pieces of weapons, personal arms could go on for several months in an upheaval in a revolution without the use of arms, when you saw the people of egypt defending a peaceful indonesia, even lydia the steps were made and morocco and the whole revolution had been done peacefully by a generation that was insisting on liberating themselves and broke the barrier with the regime's would no longer be deterred.
anyway, that opened up into a picture that was far more complex, a reality that wasn't as dreamy and wasn't as positive as rosy as the youth, the merkel generation of the region would have wanted it to be. as much as i described this far that was common to the region as much as every country had something specific to read and of course began with libya where a very stubborn regime was going to commit major crimes against its people opening the door to the intervention of the sorts and leading to the arms conflict and of course complicating the picture in the beginning the process we saw in something similar happened in almost and yemen where the 2,000 were
killed and certainly syria where as many of you have been watching the country could break down within over region and so on and so forth. so in the chapter that i call fasten your seat belt, of course we look at each country and the capacity of the regime's to reflect opinion on the people the so-called flood been practiced by a number of regimes it than complicating further the picture even in the country's where they had more or less peaceful transition. the transition to democracy, the transition to the different system of course opens up box, the pandora's box by those that were in prison and resisted a and open up to the more impoverished part of the
society. seeing them and even those among them that didn't participate between the islamists and so on and so forth making major inroads in the like of egypt and to a lesser degree to nisha and we've seen more of that complicating the picture. and making the so-called constitutional liberal between big brackets, democracy and freedom becoming of course, complicated all of which takes me to the next bit about the evolution as someone has to be now on a tv program a couple of days ago why did you call it the revolution in singular and why revolution in the first place? i'm going to leave that to the discussion we had an al jazeera
to be called a people and awakening and everywhere i go to colleagues and academics are not concerned with what is going on but they want to find it. it's important to get the definition right. what you mean awakening? it's not an awakening. you lose contact and you lose track of what is going on because you're so busy instead of looking at and protecting your own definitions i chose from the beginning and we had the discussions on al jazeera i was one of those for the simple
fact that as many of you know in some of you might teach me about this in error of history in the arab history they are not exactly commonplace and meaning revolting against a ruler is not exactly commendable so the whole idea was sent exactly something of a positive thing. then the iranian revolution which was the sort of its own specifics of the shiite revolution in iran to bomb at a more positive connotation of change against the ruler that was tough islamic they were never excited about the revolution and those who turned out to be majority in the egyptian parliament and not exactly majority but major part
and of course these islamists manning political islam and again, definitions we will get to that they were not excited about the revolutions. they were always about the reform. i sat down the last few weeks with the head of the two -- tunisians and asked specifically about that. even though it's happened and there's been tremendous revolution but they still consider themselves performance. i'm saying that to make the exception but i was thinking of it in terms of the revolution because for me what is common with of the world is the consciousness, it hasn't been trained.
although saddam hussein of the world has bismarcks and some stupid and destructive way but no one really united them physically or through arms or constitutional sort or federation or confederation. 21 no one united them through the economy and specific ways we know the united nations. they are a consciousness and of the revolution we have seen across the world today in 2011 is a revolution of consciousness how that translates in reality, we will see, what will happen eventually we shall see, but i think a break with the past has happened in the region. it's a question of time for each and every country but the consciousness of a popular movement for major change, the
major break with the past has happened in the collective consciousness. some people might have it in their mind of the bolsheviks or whoever others might have friends on the line it depends how you define the revolution and house select your going to be on your reading and you can't be doing that in the arab history so my approach to this and that's why i think -- that's why i wanted to write this because i wanted to say there are commonalities as much as there are specificities but of course i see much more and of course for that i will turn you to oliver stone's deco. have you seen will street, too? he says i have three words for
you, read mauney book. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. that was great. this is an engaging talk and transported me on to of the empire. i'm about to open this for question but i want to note that he will be available outside for book signing at the conclusion and i would ask you to identify yourself as you ask a question, please. yes, sir. go ahead. >> my name is [inaudible] there are three things important. what makes the revolutions or the arab uprising first of all there is al jazeera, only al
jazeera because there's no media in the arab countries only besides the government. only al jazeera. the second thing, we have the difference between poverty and hungary. [inaudible] bachelor's degree, he doesn't have a job, doesn't get him eight license. there's a difference between hungary and poverty. when i'm hungry i can do anything they want but there's a difference between poverty. the arabic language or culture they collect integrity. anyone who has accommodations you don't make integrity
[inaudible] in the culture because line from their mix things exploited these are things that make important and also, we have to blame the media here, the western media. why? because the western media will present mubarak horror tunisa, this is the of reform [inaudible] they will fill in the of media [inaudible] aha after many years like ten years later they bring al jazeera. why? too late. if the integrity and accommodation and now even today, this morning in jordan
10,000 or 15,000. when you go and read what and see that corrupt king who takes millions of dollars [inaudible] if i'm hungry i'm not scared. thank you very hatch much. >> i am a student here at the center and i have a question about the role of al jazeera supporting the revolution but supporting some revolutions. i was wondering what your
thoughts were on al jazeera's extensive coverage of the syrian crisis and the lack of coverage of what is going on. thank you. >> you say this is a revolution of consciousness that there's been a break with the past but right now it seems to be such a fragile situation certainly in egypt. what do you think is going to happen in the long term? will the young idealists prevail, will there be a democracy or will theocracy in that ruling? >> in the book i start of course
with tunisia and egypt because there's something about how they started there and there's also something more specific about them and then of the that there's and why it was relatively more peaceful them of the others. but in both countries were tunisa the phenomena that started with tunisa and egypt and it's interesting because here we have to young people who died, killed, boreman for political reasons, have freedom. i don't know if you read this story but a yondah blogger and
activist, are unemployed, uneducated, he was arrested, not arrested but asked for his papers, people were actually looking for him, security people in an internet coffee shop, cafe so-called in cairo, and when he refused asking who they were and so on and so forth and was coming after him, fae beat him to death. the details are gruesome but what's interesting about it, not anything could be interesting killing a young man is that the arrogance is that they would
kill a young man in an internet cafe. you don't do that because the word is bound to get out to there were too many bloggers sitting by watching their own colleague beaten to death. in tunisa, the young man in his elementary and frustration being unemployed in his food card being confiscated and there's a story about being hit or not expose the two pillars of the revolution. political freedom and freedom from want. freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom from want. those were the two pillars.
but there are the two pillars of what defined the commonality among the regime's are that they are authoritarian and we can get there if you want. it's important about them is that in which the era they became more expressive regimes politically and in the last decades they became the deutsch and exposed to a new liberal agenda that turn out to a wonderful open global position but corruption and their own country. so, you have the same time the total destruction of anything in the warfare state in the arab world and more and more oppressive of revolutions. i can talk about the duality of
the washington policies and with the beijing consensus manning repressive from the past and liberalized in a way that only allows for depression. i'm not just speaking for al jazeera they have policies and on part of i'm going to be sharing inside stories with al jazeera on television. we have meetings every day, every morning, every afternoon, we have weekly meetings and monthly meetings and so on and so forth, and different voices are in those meetings. my own experience the last six years is that of course there
had not been intervention from the top or whatever it is in our meetings and what we put on the air, but we do have disagreements within al jazeera and sometimes i myself have come out on the minority side of the decision that has been taken how much recovery and so on and so forth, but it is an open and changing a discussion among the people of al jazeera why we would cover the situation different from others, sometimes it is logistical for example now we are not allowed. we were not allowed in will bahrain and as you know our offices were closed in so many countries i can't even a remember them all. we were closing to to kuwait and
just six weeks i think they were not allowed the syrian bahrain and so forth. of course there was a big thing made after whether we would and that sort of genetic on the web on how we covered and i actually don't know where the hoopla is coming from. especially that al jazeera english has been winning the left and center for its documentary on bahrain. it has become known in the international festivals of television and documentary's because of its documentary on of rain that the government threatened to severe relations with them. did we pay enough attention to the egyptians as the 300,000? probably not, probably did much more.
[inaudible] know, we didn't. was their something taking a more of the sectarian by default, not by design or by design from the outside meaning 70 libya and iran perhaps. i'm not sure. with iran taking a different path than we've seen beyond that in yemen, perhaps. did we not cover it? not sure. it did recover as much as we said before? no, we didn't. was every decision we made the we covered libya and bahrain correct? i hope not otherwise we would be defined. certainly not. i think we've made a lot of mistakes to i'm not going to tell you which mistakes we've made but i think we've made mistakes and in this 24-hour peace and it's not easy to fulfil all. if you need me to be shorter on the answers i can it's a devotee
of -- it's up to you. a long-term question for egypt, you know, ali came back from egypt i spent the last ten days in egypt, and as i was saying earlier i sat down for about an hour at the main islamist brotherhood and sat down with a number of leaders and with what i would like to think of as serious intellectuals and i sat down with the three hands on activists and so on and so forth, and my impression is egypt is going in the right direction. my impression is, and i keep telling them where pessimistic sometimes about how things are
handled because of the way that the military council is dealing with the situation there was no evolution sometimes the certain islamist deal with the situation caliphate or not [inaudible] not a wise thing to say in egypt the general impression that i have is that there are many challenges egypt faces today that has to do with forces but are hardly space such as the generals to a lesser degree the paltrow conservative islamists. but i think they are on the defensive, and the people in general, and i would say the democrats in particular, the youth and i mean the ones who really want to break with a
serious way forward aren't on the offensive and i want to give you one example i had thanks to the but the chance to share some of my views with the egyptian and viewers on television networks and what we are seeing people don't perhaps think of it that way is even the generals and the altar conservative islamists are sincere saying we want democracy, we want a set of constitutions and support the civic state. these really are sincere if. i'm comfortable with both because in today's era before world in egypt and tunisa come if you must shmooze democracy that's a good thing, if you must fly off that you really support democracy, if he lasts because i
think it gives you -- it makes you more popular, that's a good thing. if it is insincere that means they think of democracy, freedom, constitution, the constitution or civic state is bigger than them even though if you can't find them together they get like 70%, but if they need to come the question of freedom and democracy they need to continue to defend themselves on the question of democracy and freedom and pacific state that means they feel the collective consciousness of the people on the question of democracy and freedom is bigger than their elect rolph, and that is a process we see in the arab world if you look at the graphic and
if you look at the evolution of how things happen over the last year or so what you see if the military council off losing powerful, what you see is a losing power, even today the demonstrations in the square was were down with the head of discussed. they've gotten into such, you know, an acceptable level but the whole lady of deterrence and respect and the whole idea of the certain aura of the leader is, people just don't care and are not afraid. they express themselves and want themselves to be transitional and they do want to move towards
a six state. no one is lust party and no one military generals going to be able to from now want to read what will that and i don't think at all that it will go into anything of a theological state for. egypt has made a path and will not accept the oppressive regime no matter how we refer to it or what you refer to it as and whose name it is. >> we watch al jazeera on english satellite [inaudible] >> i like very much representation in the sense of we will be looking forward, backward.
it is a break from the past. virginia is out of the battle now and i don't think you can put it there. the other side is history. this is the fourth attempt. the first is muhammad ali. the second was the act of world war i and the city and it came with this coup d'etat this is ending command in iraq 91 and.
>> [inaudible] i don't want to know the connection with al jazeera i just got back and had a wonderful experience sidelight to hear your thoughts as to the protests seem peaceful in the bahrain so why is there no peace in the middle east why would they cut out there is a lot going on as to why that would occur in the west intervention and all that kind of stuff, but i would appreciate your thoughts >> due partly answered some of my question but i heard the other day talk about egypt and
she was saying that it's not a revolution yet, it is a coup d'etat and it seems to be quite persuasive to me at this point because the army is still it seems to me to control of the ultimate power and i know you touch a little bit on that if you can expand on that. >> i asked the same question. i'm the guest here, why is it in america? i think probably cnn and fox are lobbying against it to become more popular. there was an idea before that al jazeera is too hot to touch by cable networks and maybe some of them have monitoring interest in
it, i'm not sure what all analysts again coming in a, i'm not myself nowadays, i'm optimistic. i think we will be on the air in america soon. we are already in washington and now in new york and i think our biggest asset is not how much problem we do but it is when people watch us. when people watch us as they have been in america so you have the likes of hillary clinton saying, you know, the real journalism is not in al jazeera and the networks need to catch up. so i think if you are here, i'm not exactly flattered the state al jazeera but it will help in the distribution. and i hope we will be on the air soon in america. you know, are you familiar with [inaudible] he has a book, for all of you, he has a book called the
optimist. saaid means have become a pessimist, optimist. it's this kind of dramatic character of the storch whereby the idea is that in of the collective consciousness of the world because of some of the stuff he touched on good news is always with bad news. and that good developments are more likely to lead to bad developments are bad results. there is always this idea that even when things get better but somehow in this middle east reality is in the most optimistic of all people something wrong is going to come. because of their experience.
it's time to put it to the west. [inaudible] and i see the 50's as positive developments. i was using i was using my sled for an example i don't see in terms of departure or not i hope in terms of the revolution i can see where there is a constructive development that happened in the early part of the 18th century and the
awakening these are important construction blocks if you will end the region's, and just as the postcolonial the 50's generation will be rated the land, and they did it liberate the land, the new generation is liberated the human being. in between there was a defeated a generation and a lost generation. so we had the liberation generation of the 1940's and 50's, but the defeated generation since the post cold war era and i see that in terms of the development of history and historical context. as i said earlier shane asked,
can't mention it is in the book in the 1850's what he saw of the revolution and he said it remains to be seen. that was 100 years later that is perhaps a joke i'm not sure but said he probably said jokingly. we don't know, right. >> [inaudible] >> i'm optimistic by the way on what is happening although i am worried about this future content especially the protection we say that when you protect those in particular in the middle east of the will then pursued regret.
so i'm not worried about this but my memory is the 40 years of libya, egypt, syria has been in the success for any contribution either you are under the rebel region or the opposition. there is no gray color. so this worries me about presence and what worries me also about al jazeera -- [inaudible] >> okay. that's fine. that's fine. >> we are in agreement. but in the sense i do see and i don't end with, you know, rose
ziz and strawberry fields why do end with fasten your seat belts. i see that there's kling tooby -- sticking with the flight, this is going to be a lot up in the air and i see how they entered the political life in countries like libya and not starting from scratch and putting together a political party is creating a civil society of sorts, so rac that, but what i also see is that for the first time they are on the right track, and we must give that some credit. i have a lot open the idea of a new generation. i've been speaking to so many young people, and i say that in tunisa and egypt and yemen and so forth. they have a lot to offer. it's amazing. the new media or the satellite media or whatever it is.
but i think this new generation has different ideas and it does not accepting the comings of the past. that does not mean that because, you know, there are good intentions but things are going to happen. all i am saying is that at least the region has broken with the past, the barriers of fear and now what is going to start. ..